Before we start discussing on the given topic, it is necessary to understand what bone marrow is and why it is important for our body. Bone marrow refers to a soft, spongy tissue inside your bones that is meant to produce blood-forming cells (blood stem cells). These cells turn into blood cells including:
There could be numerous reasons behind the need of a bone marrow transplant such as chronic infections, disease, or cancer. Another reason behind such kind of procedure could be aplastic anemia, a disorder in which the marrow stops producing new blood cells. Different types of cancer that could lead to the need for this surgery are leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.
The procedure is carried out in various parts of the world and is found to be quite successful in treating the problem. However, it is necessary to count on an expert center so as to get best results.
There are various types of bone marrow transplant and the category and severity of your disease ascertain what type of bone marrow transplant you may need. Bone marrow transplant (BMT) is a procedure in which the diseased or damaged bone marrow is replaced with healthy bone marrow. In a bid to replace the diseased bone marrow with a healthy one, the damaged bone marrow is first demolished by chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. The replacement marrow or the healthy bone marrow, if taken from the patient has known an autologous bone marrow transplant and if it is from matching twin, it is known as a syngeneic transplant. If the marrow is taken the form a donor (not an identical twin), the procedure called an allogeneic bone marrow transplant.
Over the past few years, India has emerged out as a world-class destination for low-cost bone marrow transplantation. There are many hospitals in the country that have accredited great reputation in the market by offering world-class healthcare services in the most affordable way. Patients from Nigeria, Bangladesh, Oman, Iraq, Kurdistan, Myanmar and other countries come to India to get low-cost bone marrow transplant.
The Bone Marrow Transplantation centers in India are the best in the world and provide advanced treatment facilities such as immunotherapy, gene therapy, and biomodulators. These centers have been catering to both domestic and international patients. Many International Patients come from Oman, Srilanka, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Iraq, Nepal etc. Almost 35% of the patients are international patients. At these centers, 25% of the transplants are done for thalassemia and another 25% is for acute myeloid leukemia. The cost of bone marrow transplant here is very reasonable in comparison to the costs in the US and Europe. A large number of patients with thalassemia, aplastic anemia, leukemia etc. can choose to avail of this facility. Apart from HLA identical sibling transplants, these hospitals have also taken the initiative in starting cord blood transplants and matched unrelated donor transplants. They have also begun the cord blood transplant program for a disease like leukemia in children and also for immunodeficiency syndromes. They also feature a cord blood facility to collect cord blood units for public banking for application in cord blood transplants. These centers also have the facility for total body irradiation (TBI) which is used during conditioning for lymphoid malignancies and also in the decreased intensity conditioning transplants.
How is this procedure done?
Prior to the transplant procedure, the patient gets chemotherapy (chemo) with or without radiation to destroy the damaged blood-forming cells and marrow. After this, healthy cells are given to him (it’s not surgery). The new cells go into his bloodstream via an intravenous (IV) line, or tube. This process is like receiving blood or medicine through an IV. The cells are then passed through the bone marrow, where they grow and being making healthy red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
A team of hematologists, medical oncologists, and pediatric oncologist then carry out the surgical procedure in the most effective way without causing any kind of damage to nearby organs. The corresponding nurses on the BMT team at these hospitals are specially trained to care for bone marrow transplant and immunology patients. They work closely with doctors in the centers of hematology/oncology and immunology to assess various needs, plan the care and deliver required treatment.
The BMT centers in India have different rules in regard to visiting, diet and patient activity than other patient units in the center. These are all known to safeguard the patient from infection. The rooms are High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filtered rooms. As the immune system will be condensed unproductive in preparation for a bone or marrow transplant, special isolation rooms are required to protect the patient from infection.
This kind of isolation involves the use of: -
To prevent the spread of infection among people, all hospital staff, parents and everyone else coming to the room just need to wash their hands in the scrub sink. A complete two minutes scrub should be performed first thing in the day, post meals and after bathroom breaks. At other times, a 15- second-hand wash is necessary.
Considering the high success rate of bone marrow transplant in India, a large number of patients from different parts of the world come to this country to seek reliable and affordable healthcare services that are delivered by renowned experts.
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